Patterico's Pontifications


Alaskans Debate Sarah Palin (Updated)

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 10:13 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Recent commenters have linked or reprinted a letter from Wasilla, Alaska, resident Anne Kilkenny criticizing Governor Sarah Palin. Reprinted below is a response from Wasilla-area neighbor and Palin supporter Deb Frost.

I rarely post on this kind of anecdotal tit-for-tat but, in light of Palin’s 80%+ approval ratings in her home state, I think it’s fair to say there are 8 Debs for every 2 Annes in Alaska.

UPDATE 9/8/2008: labels several claims in Anne Kilkenny’s letter as FALSE. End of UPDATE.


Making Stuff Up

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 7:08 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Yesterday in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Barack Obama accused Republicans and the McCain campaign of “making stuff up” to criticize him:

“When [Republicans] say this isn’t about issues it’s about personalities what they’re really saying is ‘we’re going to try to scare people about Barack,’ the Democratic presidential candidate said.

Obama said Republicans are “going to say that you know, ‘maybe he’s got Muslim connections or we’re going to say that, you know, he hangs out with radicals or he’s not patriotic.’ Just making stuff up.”

Complaining that critics are “making stuff up” is a new Obama theme. Last month Obama complained that Jerome Corsi, author of Obama Nation, was “getting a lot of play on Fox News” by “making stuff up.”

The month before Obama aired a radio ad claiming John McCain was “just makin’ stuff up” on Obama’s tax plans.

And in June 2008, Obama told CNN that evangelical leader James Dobson was “making stuff up” when he accused the Illinois senator of distorting the Bible and taking a “fruitcake interpretation” of the U.S. Constitution.

I sense a pattern.

Care to guess what Barack Obama said today in Terre Haute, Indiana, in his first public criticism of Sarah Palin? All together now:

“I know the governor of Alaska has been, you know, saying she is change,” Obama said at a town hall meeting here. “And that is great. She is a skillful politician. But when you [have] been taking all these earmarks when it is convenient and then suddenly you are the champion anti-earmark person.

That is not change, come on,” Obama continued. “I mean, words mean something. You can’t just make stuff up. You can’t just make stuff up. We have a choice to make and the choice is clear.”

Candidate Obama needs new talking points. Grade school rhetoric won’t win elections and it certainly won’t intimidate the leaders of Russia, Iran, or North Korea.


Why We Need to Link Andrew Sullivan

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:56 pm

Some wonder why I keep linking and discussing Sullivan. Whether you like it or not, in this discussion he matters. Allahpundit notes that a link from Sullivan crashed a court website and adds:

As much as we’d all like to believe it’s dKos holding the hoops through which these morons jump, I’m convinced it’s Sullivan whom they’re taking their cues from. Yes, most of the media is liberal, and yes, many of them read Kos and don’t read right-wing blogs where they’d have access to debunkery; Ace has been writing about that all week and it’s true as far as it goes. But I don’t buy that they’re so cocooned that they’re unaware Kos has a credibility problem. It’s Sullivan, with his TNR pedigree and his reputation — to this day — for being “right-leaning” and therefore, ahem, impartial who lends credibility to the rumors by stamping them with the Atlantic’s imprimatur. Surely a serious pundit wouldn’t post smears about Trig Palin being Bristol Palin’s child. There simply must be something to it.

By the way, Sullivan’s links crashing the court site had to do with Sullivan’s attempt to dig up dirt on the bogus rumor that Sarah Palin has been involved in an affair with Todd Palin’s former business partner, causing that man to file a motion to seal his divorce papers. Before we learned that the sealing was innocent — done not to shield the public from non-existent allegations about an affair with Palin, but rather to protect the man and his young son from lunatics, conspiracy theorists, and smear artists like Sullivan — Glute-Boy managed to mention this all-important news in not just one, but two posts. Here is an example of the sort of serious journalism that Sullivan has been engaged in lately:

Is the party of traditional marriage aware that the vice-presidential nominee actually eloped with her now-husband? And just in case you missed it: Scott Richter, Todd Palin’s former business partner, has just filed an emergency motion to seal his divorce papers.

That last was a revelation so compelling that it needed to be mentioned in two blog posts. Here was another:

Todd Palin’s former business partner files an emergency motion to have his divorce papers sealed. Oh God.

“Oh God!” bleats the Serious Pundit.

Despite Sullivan’s past claims that private sexual lives should be off limits when the private life was his own — even though his own rather publicly promiscuous “private” life demonstrated stunning hypocrisy — Sullivan is busy trying to dig up anything that he can on Palin, simply to push the idea that she is trailer trash. Hence, you get this sort of important information:

If Obama’s family were as colorful as Palin’s, you can bet the press would have been all over it. If Obama’s sister had nine kids from two fathers neither of whom she is currently living with, do you really think the press would not have written about it?

(You know, like the sister of that low-class woman Sarah Palin.)

Gee, I dunno. If Obama’s had written about the scourge of homosexual promiscuity, as Sullivan has, and then had advertised himself for promiscuous homosexual sex, as Sullivan did (link is not work-safe), advertising for “One-on-One’s, 3-Ways, Groups/Parties/Orgies, and Gang Bangs” — do you really think the press would not have written about it?

At least Sullivan’s story has a hypocrisy angle among the lurid details, the pictures of his naked buttocks on the Internet, and the description of his “power glutes.” Talking about the sex life of Sarah Palin’s sister or daughter has no legitimate purpose at all.

The sorts of arguments this Serious Pundit is making are going to alienate voters.

That’s why I think it only helps our cause to point out the hysterical and sexist rantings of this, Palin’s most visible and unhinged critic — although bottom-feeder Bill Maher runs a close second.

UPDATE: Sullivan has a photo up titled “The Softer Side of a F-ing Redneck.” It shows Levi Johnston kissing Trig while Bristol Palin holds him.

That does it. If he is going to make constant disparaging references to the people surrounding Sarah Palin, I am going to keep linking the personal ad where he hypocritically seeks out men for promiscuous sex. I’ll do my best to make sure nobody ever forgets it.

Andrew Sullivan: Sarah Palin is Too “Fragile” to Face the Media

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:56 pm

Ed Morrissey:

Just spitballing here, but what stereotypes of naughty women have the media and the lunatics missed? So far, they’ve made [Palin] out to be a slut, a b***h, a beauty-queen airhead, and an unfit mother. She’s obviously not frigid, so that smear won’t work. How many other demeaning gender-based slurs can they throw her way?

How about “fragile”? Here’s Andrew “RAWMUSLGLUTES” Sullivan:

One vice-presidential candidate is too fragile to talk to the press.

Hint: Sullivan is not talking about the male vice-presidential candidate.

By the way . . . from Hot Air comes Palin’s schedule for today:

Saturday, September 6, 2008
Colorado and New Mexico

10:00am Media Interview
10:30am Satellite into AARP Convention
11:30am Media Interview
12:30pm MT “The Road to Victory Rally”
Colorado Springs, CO
1:45pm MT Depart Colorado
2:50pm MT Arrive NM
3:30pm MT Media Interviews
7:00pm MT “The Road to Victory Rally”
Albuquerque Convention Center

(All emphasis in this post is mine.)

“Fragile” indeed.

Remember, Sullivan was one of the fools who lowered expectations for Palin’s speech by continually insinuating that she was a bubblehead former beauty queen. Then Palin gave a speech that the New York Times described as “electrifying” (before editing that term out of the final copy) and Sullivan and his cohorts looked like fools.

To the extent that there is a period of relative media silence from Palin — she is seeing her son off to Iraq in a few days — that will give the Sullivans of this world an opportunity to go around lowering expectations again, by insinuating that she is little more than a former sportscaster who reads a speech well, but can’t speak articulately.

Then she’ll prove them wrong again, and the critics will look stupid all over again. I see no downside here.

Some wonder why I keep linking and discussing Sullivan. I explain here.

UPDATE: Commenter steve says:

Sarah Palin is answering reporters’ questions three times today? It’s more likely McCain campaign boss Rick Davis is putting out a spokesman for media interviews after CO and NM rallies. A Q&A session leading up to the AARP satellite appearance would have been mentioned SOMEWHERE by now.

He could be right. The one-line “Media Interview” description does not necessarily mean that Sarah Palin is answering questions yet. But anyone who thinks she’s too “fragile” to do so a) is sexist and b) knows nothing about her. When the times comes, whenever that is, she’ll do fine.

Tasergate: Trooper Told He Has History of Unethical Conduct, and Will Therefore Get a Very Stern Slap on the Wrist

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:53 am

Tasergate update: why did Sarah Palin consider Trooper Michael “Taserman” Wooten to be a menace? Here’s part of the reason. Courtesy of Beldar comes a link to the letter which suspended Trooper Wooten for ten days.

The letter is lengthy, and so are the quotes I provide below. For those short on time, I’ll summarize the letter by paraphrasing it, as follows:

You tasered your ten-year-old stepson. You drank and drove a marked patrol car. You did other illegal things. You have a lengthy history of discipline for things like dangerous driving and using duty time for personal business. You have horrible judgment, bad moral character, and show no sign of wanting to change. Someone like you reflects badly on the department. You embarrass us all by your mere existence, and someone like you should never be a peace officer.

Ten day suspension!

I stress that this is a paraphrasing of the letter, written in my words. But read my complete post, and you will see that I have fairly summarized the essence of the letter.

If you’re short on time, just run your eyes over the parts I have bolded.

Details in the extended entry.


The “Dog That Did Not Bark” at the GOP Convention

Filed under: General — WLS @ 11:23 am

[Posted by WLS]

I’ve looked through the text of most of the major speeches given last week at the GOP convention.

Notably missing from all the digs taken at Obama was any reference to Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn, the Weather Underground, and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

I do not think this was unintentional. This is a subject that animates McCain. From April 20:

On “This Week with George George Stephanopoulos” this morning, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., unprompted, raised the issue of the connection between Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and William Ayers, a former member of the radical group the Weather Underground.

On the subject of whether McCain would attempt to attack Obama on patriotism, the presumptive GOP nominee said, “I’m sure he’s very patriotic. But his relationship with Mr. Ayers is open to question. … if you’re going to associate and have as a friend and serve on a board and have a guy kick off your campaign that says he’s unrepentant, that he wished they had bombed more.”

McCain said he was most offended by Obama’s comparison of Ayers to Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., during Wednesday night’s ABC News debate. Obama had said he doesn’t subscribe to the views of all his friends, and cited Coburn’s anti-abortion rhetoric as an example.

“The worst thing of all, that I think really indicates Senator Obama’s attitude, is he had the incredible statement that he compared Mr. Ayers, an unrepentant terrorist, with Senator Tom Coburn, Senator Coburn, a physician who goes to Oklahoma on the weekends and brings babies into life,” McCain said. “It’s very insulting to a great man, a great doctor, a great humanitarian… (H)ow can you countenance someone who was engaged in bombings which could have or did kill innocent people?”

After Stephanopoulos pointed out that Obama had said he doesn’t agree with comments Ayers has made, McCain said, “Doesn’t agree with them? Does he condemn them? Would he condemn someone who says that they’re unrepentant and wished that they had bombed more?”

The groundwork on this subject is still being prepared. A thorough review of the CAC documents is underway — and I’m sure it’s not just Stanley Kurtz doing it.

The silence on this subject suggests to me that the McCain camp is holding it back for a moment deeper into the campaign. A face-to-face confrontation between a self-professed friend of Ayers and POW who was sitting in the Hanoi Hilton while Ayers and his cohorts were trying to bomb an Officer’s Club at Fort Dix, would be an interesting exchange in a presidential debate. I think one of the agreed-upon formats has the candidates asking questions of each other.


Rasmussen Says Obama’s Lead Among Women Cut In Half By Palin Selection

Filed under: General — WLS @ 10:46 am

Posted by WLS:

Rasmussen has the race down to Obama +1 (+3 when leaners are included).

As McCain has begun to chip away as Obama’s convention bounce, most of his gains have come among women voters. Obama still leads 51% to 44% among women, but that seven-point edge is just half the fourteen point lead he enjoyed last Tuesday. McCain leads by three among men, little changed in recent days.

Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Obama voters now say they are voting with enthusiasm for their candidate while 17% are primarily voting against the other candidate. For McCain, those numbers are 65% and 28% respectively. Before the Republican convention, just 54% of McCain voters were voting enthusiastically for him rather than simply voting against Obama.

McCain is now viewed favorably by 58% of the nation’s voters while Obama earns positive reviews from 57% (see trends). McCain earns favorable reviews from 91% of Republicans while Obama is viewed favorably by 87% of Democrats. Among unaffiliated voters, McCain’s favorable ratings are at 64%, Obama’s at 54%. Palin is viewed favorably by 58% of voters including 40% with a Very Favorable opinion of her.

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